The first Irish Lotto draw took place on Saturday 16th April 1988. It was introduced to replace the Irish Sweepstakes and to help raise money for Good Causes in Ireland, including healthcare, welfare, sport and the arts. It began as a once weekly Saturday draw with a 6/36 matrix and a weekly Wednesday draw was introduced in May 1990. The matrix was changed to a 6/39 game after a Dublin-based syndicate led by Stefan Klincewicz realised they could match all combinations and still turn a profit due to the large jackpot, cheap ticket price and low odds. Then in November 2006 the lottery was changed again to a 6/45 game in order to encourage bigger jackpots and boost sales, which made it the successful lottery it is today.
Irish Lotto Draw Schedule
The Irish Lotto Results are drawn twice a week on a Wednesday and Saturday night in Ireland. They are aired live by the Irish public service broadcaster, Radio Telefís Éireann at 8pm on RTE Channel 1. In addition to the jackpot, which is a minimum of €2 million, there are several other prize levels available. The minimum prize on offer is €5, which is won by any player to match three of the main numbers drawn out in the Irish Lotto.
How to Play and Win Irish Lotto
To play the Irish Lottery, players will need to pick a total of seven numbers from a possible 45. Six of those are the main numbers, and players can win the jackpot by matching all six. The remaining number is the bonus ball, and matching this to three, four or five numbers will help the players win secondary tier prizes. Players can also win secondary prizes by matching just three, four or five of the main numbers without the bonus ball. Ticket sales close on the evening of the draws at 7.40pm and re-open after the draw takes place at 8.00pm.
There are two set prize tiers in this lottery game, matching five numbers plus the Bonus Ball will win you a guaranteed €25,000 and you will win a guaranteed €5 by matching three numbers. The other tiers do not have a set value amount as the winnings tend to fluctuate depending on lottery ticket sales. Winnings made on the Irish Lotto are paid out in a tax-free lump sum.
The odds of winning the jackpot on the Irish Lottery is 1 in 8.145 million, which are good odds compared to most world lotteries. The odds of winning any prize on the Irish Lottery are approximately 1 in 42. For full details of odds, prize percentiles and prize tiers, visit the Irish Lottery Prize Page.